Current Affairs - December, 2018

Latest Current Affairs December, 2018 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of December, 2018 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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China launched its First Satellite for Space-based Broadband Services

China has launched its first communication satellite on 22nd December 2018 to offer broadband internet services to users worldwide. The communication satellite was launched using a Long March 11 carrier rocket which took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in north-western China.  It is CASIC’s (China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation) first satellite launch under China’s Hongyun project. The satellite aims to rival Google and other companies which have similar plans for providing Internet services worldwide.

Hongyun Project

China started the Hongyun project in September 2016. Under this project, China plans to give broadband internet connectivity to users all over the world by building a space-based communications network. The project also seeks to take the Internet connectivity to the underserved regions of the world. CASIC will be placing than 150 Hongyun satellites on orbits about 1,000 km above the ground around 2023 and can be expanded as per the demand. It is to be noted that CASIC is the main contractor for Chinese space programs and a state-owned company.

A number of tech companies have already launched space-based broadband plans to provide free internet access that includes Google, SpaceX, OneWeb and Telesat.

The U.S.’ SpaceX launched Starlink project aims to put around 12,000 satellites in the space by the mid-2020s. A U.S. firm, OneWeb, will be launching a  constellation of 648 low-Earth orbit microsatellites by the end of 2019 to provide broadband services. A Chinese plans to launch a constellation of 272 satellites to provide free WiFi service worldwide.

‘Hand-in-Hand’ counter-terrorism military exercises concluded

India and China concluded the ‘Hand-in-Hand’ military exercise on 22nd December 2018 in China’s Chengdu city. This was the 7th edition of the ‘Hand-in-Hand’ military exercise. The  ‘Hand-in-Hand’ military exercise did not take place last year due to prevailing tensions between both sides after 73-day military standoff at Doklam

This year’s exercise, which began on 11th December, focused on urban terrorism in which Indian and Chinese armies conducted the drills while living and dining together to build up a sense of camaraderie. The exercise included live firing and demonstration of driving skills to rescue hostages held by terrorists in an urban environment. The previous edition of ‘Hand-in-Hand’ that was held in 2016 in Pune had focussed on counter-terrorism drills in non-urban areas.

The exercises and the concluding ceremony were live-streamed by China’s state-run TV channel CGTN highlighting their importance. The exercise seeks to improve the relations between the two countries drills keeping in spirit of this year’s Wuhan summit.

Wuhan Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of  China Xi Jinping had held their first Informal Summit in Wuhan on April 27-28, 2018. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange views on overarching issues of bilateral and global importance and to elaborate their respective visions and priorities for national development in the context of current and future international situation.